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What did you do in the shop today?

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I spent my first proper time in my forge this morning. Only about 3.5 hours but well worth it. I turned an old ball peen hammer on to a rounding hammer before starting the fire. Then I made a fire rake with a loop and twist handle followed by a poker with a loop handle. Then a couple of hooks to hang them off the edge of the forge to keep them handy. 

Then I made a further 4 hooks so that I can hang up my hot cut and 3 punches. Then I had a go at making a spoon for flux from 10mm round bar using my newly profiled rounding hammer and of course that needed a hook making too. 

Finally I took a wire brush on my angle grinder to the anvil to see if I could find and makers marks on it. 

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Dax - there's no match to the feeling you get when you make stuff that can be put to use immediately.  Much of the attention these days goes to knives and other edged weapons, but I gain the most satisfaction out of making things I need to use.  I absolutely love the fact I can have a hardware need and just make the dang thing instead of going to the hardware store and trying to find something that will sorta work that is made of cheap metal and costs money.   

Yesterday I forged a couple of doll stands for my girls' porcelain dolls, a new holdfast for the anvil, and a rack for my tongs to go on a portable work table.  The stands were a bit of a challenge as both dolls were different sizes and widths and I had to do a lot of careful measuring because it's not like I can hold the doll up to the hot stand and see if it's close.  The moment of truth came and both dolls fit perfectly.  Nothing super nice to brag about, but the materials were free and it cost me nothing but my time and some propane.   The smiles from my daughters were payment enough.  The only glitch I had was the smell of the rawhide hammer I was using to do some final adjustments.  My wife particularly hates the smell and it filled the basement.  My girls didn't like it either.  Perhaps this is a new way to keep the shop deserted when I don't need any onlookers :lol: 

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Hello All,

Had quite an interesting day with my cousin in town, who is an artist and glass blower. She needed some custom glass blowing tools in stainless and was happy to help with the work. My first time working stainless or pipe. Safety tip of the day is don't quench pipe if it's aimed back at you, or the steam can get you!

Happy forging.


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MC, could always make a wood mallet instead that doesnt smell as bad. ( for when you are Not trying to scare them off). 

Dex, I agree it is great making tools to use to make tools.

Knives can be fun too. I like to forge period. Tool, trinkets, knives(also being tools), whatever.

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Nice work everyone! I got some time in yesterday, but wasn't vey successful. I haven't been feeling too great, and it really shows. But on to today. I made this hammer handle from some Boise' D'Arc my husband had cut out for me. Dressed the face and peen. Got some linseed oil on it. Dressed a chisel that's working better for the veins on leaves. Made a leaf keychain and showed my husband how to the best I can, not being real great at it myself. I'm sure he will be along to post his work. Anyway, good days work. Hope everyone has a good day:)


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Irondragon Forge & Clay - Well done on both accounts..  Wife's needing a new fork for the brisket?

If you guys think a little ol raw hide mallet stinks hitting hot metal.. You guys should check out hot fitting a shoe  with a toe or side clips if you really love that kind of smell.. 

Why is it steak smells so good, but skin/hair is just so wrong..  Is it supposed to be the barrier to keep people from digging in any deeper.. 

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A friend who raises Bison, once gave me some bones to use as knife scales. They had to be boiled to remove all the flesh & marrow. I made the mistake of boiling them on the kitchen stove. Ran us out of the house for hours and a whole bottle of Febreze to get the smell out of everything.

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Like a bad visit to the dentist?   The dust is Extremely bad for you too as it tends to dissolve in your lungs moisture and precipate as apatite spicules trashing your lungs over time and exposure. Not to mention things like anthrax and BSE exposure is possible.

Wow just ran across a post on this on a knifemaker's site---one I made 16.5 years ago when I was on the Neo-Tribal Metalsmiths as Bog Iron.

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15 hours ago, Glenn said:

I found myself laying head down between a couple big boulders in damp dirt. Always good to lay down on soft dirt, even better to lay down on TOP of the soft dirt. Glad your ok.

Me too, I briefly  thought about how nice it'd be to take a short nap but not in the dirt let alone under one of those big boulders if it shifted, Heck I was going to check them for stability, I'd bumped both with the back hoe but you still want to take a good look before working under a few tons of sharp pointy rock. 

I grew up in the desert we usually wore salt stains rather than sweat. I've never much liked clingy sweat, the stuff is supposed to cool you, not make you icky stinky. I grew up about 4 miles from the San Fernando Mission in Sylmar Cal. Mother and I ate peppers, Dad and Shannon not.

I gave up on eating peppers that my body's first reaction to was turn RED, then break out in a whole body sweat. I used to sit by the pool with some of the hottest peppers available, a pitcher of iced tea and bowl of popcorn. Eat a pepper, chewed thoroughly, it's tiny bits that can make the next morning so unpleasant. Eat a handful or two of popcorn and wash it down with a swig of ice tea.

Seeing as I haven't eaten much for peppers in a long time I don't anymore, I lost my tolerance and they just tear me up now. You gotta build a resistance to eat the GOOD ones you know. 

Well, break over I'm still plugging away getting the cable up to machine dug trench, some of it is a stone BEAR, literally stone. Seems I piled all the modest sized boulders under the BIG ones for drainage. I didn't want water freezing and thawing under BIG boulders so close to the porch piles.  The last couple hours have been prybars and finger tips.

Some time later. The hand work is done, boulders reset cable in full length and most of the trench filled starting compacting. Sun's in my eyes too much but I got it to where I can work the other side. Once compacted and smoothed out, torn to heck parking space included I can get on my project for Deb. I've been wanting to widen the driveway right in front of the house, It's not only downhill but you have to make a turn, makes it a PITA to plow in winter and doesn't leave much space for Deb's RV. 

I have all day tomorrow and am sincerely hoping I haven't bitten off more than I can chew. This is the first time I've run a back hoe since the accident, 9 years now. It's coming back but my depth perceptions isn't what it was before and that's a darned handy suite of sensors to have available.

I'm just here taking half an hour to watch news on TV. Ughhhh. No comment on journalistic quality.

Frosty The Lucky.

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6 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

Dax rounding hammer or dishing hammer?   

I may have the terminology wrong. I reprofiled the flat side of the ball peen to a convex shape and then used that shape to spread the dish on my spoon so it's probably a dishing hammer. 

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HI All,

I made these for my sister yesterday afternoon.

The bottle opener is made from 12mm coil spring, managed to lose the corkscrew part a couple of times but got there in the end.

Then after seeing a few posted on the site I thought I would have a go at a hair pin for her made from 6mm round.

I also made six shelf brackets for the work shop but didn't photograph them they were just 12mm square bent and spread out for the screws.

I am pretty happy with both but any critique would be great it is the only way to improve.




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18 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

The dust is Extremely bad for you too

Thomas make an excellent point.  I knew a flintknapper that was grinding antlers for all his knives he was making for the big show we all attend in August.  He died from some lung illness from the antler dust.  It killed him in 2 weeks time and he never made it to the show.  When I see them on FIF grinding antler handles without a mask it makes me cringe.  I always use my respirator when grinding antlers and I do it outside.  Same with metal dust.  None of it is good to breath in.  

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I made a basic tool rest for my belt grinder today and started putting a hollow grind in a straight razor. It's still too thick, even for heat treating, but it was about all I could get done before the mosquitoes carried me off. They were bad today for some reason.






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Mosquitos Carrying you off? Man, give me those ones, they are probably big enough to shoot. They have been bad here too but they are small sneaky evil little things. You know you got bit after it's too late and you are covered in itchy bumps. Sat out one evening in shorts and the next day or two I was practically scratching the skin off my lower legs and arms. 

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I remember once sitting in a screened in deck and those little suckers flew under the skirting, up through the tiny gap in the deck floor and bit us.  I know when I build my screened in porch that I'll not forget screen underneath it.  Das, you must have the same sweet blood I do - I always get nailed by mosquitoes.  

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